Thanks to help from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Sen. Mark R. Warner, the 490-population town of Mineral, Va., gathered more than 31,000 votes to win a contest for a free concert by Alan Jackson.
Winning the concert is some welcome news for Mineral, which was at the epicenter of August’s 5.8-magnitude earthquake. Last week the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied Virginia’s request for aid to help property owners affected by the disaster, which caused an estimated $15 million in residential property damage. Gov. Robert F. McDonnell is appealing the decision.
The contest, which ended Monday at 1 p.m., was hosted by event web service Eventful.com. According to the Associated Press, the location with the most votes would win the contest as long as it could fulfill the singer’s production requirements and accommodate between 1,000 to 3,000 fans. Kansas City came in second with about a quarter of the votes, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Minot, N.D., finished in third place.
Bernice Wilson-Kube, vice mayor of Mineral, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the contest has been “a nice diversion” from the almost daily aftershocks of the earthquake, which hit about 4 miles southwest of Mineral.
“It’s on people’s minds right up there with the earthquake,” Wilson-Kube said.
She noted that social media such as a Facebook page called “Bring Alan Jackson to Mineral, VA” helped the town snag the big win.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor did his part to round up votes by sending out an email to constituents in the 7th District.
“We can think of no one more deserving of a free Alan Jackson concert,” his office wrote, praising the town for its earthquake recovery efforts. “If you agree with us, please cast your vote for Mineral.”
Sen. Mark R. Warner lent a hand by posting a link to the contest on his Twitter and Facebook pages.
A date or location for the concert hasn’t been announced yet. Wilson-Kube told the Richmond Times-Dispatch possible locations include the town’s Walton Park or the Louisa County High School football stadium.
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